Tech week in review: Nobody says "netiquette" anymore

A new Yahoo, cellphones on planes and the worst words on the Web.

By Farhad Manjoo

Published June 23, 2007 3:48PM (EDT)

Chief Yahoo gets a new gig. Jerry Yang, Yahoo's co-founder and, for years, its "Chief Yahoo," took over as the company's CEO, replacing the well-remunerated Terry Semel. Under former Hollywood man Semel, Yahoo seemed to be falling in recent months into a death spiral -- its market share in search continued to slip against the ever-dominant Google, and top executives began streaming out. Yang has a big job ahead of him; the first thing he needs to do is figure out Yahoo's true purpose. Maybe he can look it up on Google?

I have had it with these @$#!@# cellphones ... European aviation regulations approved plane manufacturer Airbus' in-flight cellphone system, paving the way for talking and texting in the air (because air travel is too pleasant as it is).

Ten, nine, eight ... As we near the iPhone launch -- June 29 -- Apple put out two more bits of data about the thing. The phone's getting a stronger than expected battery (it'll last eight hours instead of five), and its face will be made of clear, scratch-resistant glass, not the Etch-A-Sketch plastic it had in early stages. The iPhone can also play YouTube videos, Apple says. Again, because air travel is too pleasant as it is.

What's the most-hated tech term? An odd poll by British survey firm YouGov found that "folksonomy" is the most likely of any nerd word to make people online "wince, shudder or want to bang your head on the keyboard." The word "blogosphere" was second, "blog" was third, and "netiquette" came in at No. 4. But do folks say many of these anymore? "Blogosphere" and "blog," sure, but it was the last century when I last heard "netiquette." "Blook" -- the allegedly popular blending of "book" and "blog," which came in at No. 5 -- gets under 500,000 on Google. "Onomatopoeia" is more popular. Sounds like a push poll to me.

Farhad Manjoo

Farhad Manjoo is a Salon staff writer and the author of True Enough: Learning to Live in a Post-Fact Society.

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